Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Model Soldiers – How to organise them

28mm Austrian Army

I wanted to play large multi corps battles, but my armies were organised as 36 figure infantry battalions and 8 figure cavalry squadrons.

Clearly a major compromise was required.   I finally decided on small corps of 32 infantry, 4 cavalry and 1 gun per corps.   I would convert each 36 figure infantry battalion to 4 infantry brigades of 8 figures each.   Each 8 figure cavalry squadron would become 2 cavalry brigades of 4 figures each.

The national breakdown was as follows

4 Austrian corps
4 British/Portuguese corps
4 Prussian corps
4 Russian corps
4 Spanish corps

1 French old guard corps
1 French young guard corps
6 French line corps
3 Bavarian corps
2 Polish corps
1 Baden corps
1 Italian corps
1 Westphalian corps

 18mm Austrian Army

Some may find it difficult to accept that 8 infantry figures would represent an infantry brigade, or 4 mounted figures a cavalry brigade.   But the alternative would be to restrict my wargame system to fighting brigade or division sized wargames, which I was not prepared to do.

With this compromise I had sufficient figures to create a reasonable, if fictional, order of battle for each nation.

My final order of battle was 20 allied corps and 16 French corps

You can find a detailed order of battle for each of the 36 corps on the Campaign Diary Blog here

Next we will consider how they will be organised in armies.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Model Soldiers – What is available

18mm and 28mm figures and scenery

The number and type of model soldiers you already have, or are prepared to obtain, will determine how you will plan your wargame system.

Having decided what you want to achieve you must now list what figures you have available to achieve it.  
6x6 foot wargames table

Again I will use what I did to illustrate what I mean.

First I made a list of what figures I had available.   I found that I had 1296 infantry, 120 cavalry, 26 guns manned by 104 gunners.   And of course they are duplicated in 28mm, 18mm and 6mm.

I have a comprehensive collection which represents most of the armies of the Napoleonic Wars.   The infantry were organised in units of 36, the cavalry in units of 8 and the artillery one gun and 4 crew.

The breakdown of figures by nationality and numbers was as follows

French          288 infantry   32 cavalry     6 guns 24 gunners
Austrian        144 infantry   16 cavalry     4 guns 16 gunners
British           144 infantry   16 cavalry     4 guns 16 gunners
Prussian       144 infantry   16 cavalry     4 guns 16 gunners
Russian        144 infantry   16 cavalry     4 guns 16 gunners
Spanish        144 infantry    8 cavalry      4 guns 16 gunners
Bavarian       108 infantry   8 cavalry     
Polish             72 infantry   8 cavalry
Baden             36 infantry  
Italian              36 infantry
Westphalian    36 infantry
28mm battle of Talavera

The good news was that the ratio of cavalry to infantry was reasonable at roughly 1 cavalry to 10 infantry.

The main problem was that they were organised and painted as 36 figure infantry battalions and 8 figure cavalry squadrons.